Cross Country 4A BOYS STATE CHAMPIONS, 4A GIRLS STATE RUNNER-UP
Our girls team competed first, and ran like professionals! Led by freshman phenom Sally Davis (18:56.8, 10th, All-State), whose performance put her individually on the podium. Our next runner, senior Jane Harig (17th, 19:12.8), fought the whole race, and junior Sena Pittman (21st, 19:18.7) put up an amazing fight in her first state cross country meet. Sophomore Allison Hu (30th, 19:35.0) moved up 4 spots over the race, while junior Riley Eberhardt (31st, 19:35.1) improved 15 places from last year and ran an amazing finish. Of note, all 5 of these girls put up performances that rank amongst the top 25 Issaquah Eagles performances on the Sun Willows State course. Our sixth and seventh runners, junior Elena Gehrke (36th, 19:37.0) and junior Liv Jensen (48th, 19:56.4) had amazing races to close the door for the team. As a team, our girls ran selflessly, all putting themselves out there to be the best they could for their teammates. When it came time to tally up team scores, #1 ranked Mt Si totaled 53 points to Issaquah's 83 points, taking home the team state championship. This was an amazing cap to a monumental season, which took a group of newcomers (4 of the top 7 hadn't run HS cross country before) and turned them into championship contenders. This performance only reinforces the team bonds and friendships they built through the hardworking and dedication they put forward this year!
Onto our boy’s team, who entered the state meet this year as the clear favorite, was reminded that anything can happen at the state meet. Led by juniors Connor Rickey (8th, 15:59.4, All-State) and Henry Tait (16th, 16:12.9, All-State), both of whom went with the lead group and ran incredible individual and team races. Of note, Tait had one of the most meteoric improvements in one calendar year, going from 59th to 16th--an amazing show of his nose to the grindstone mentality. Senior Brennen Rickey (20th, 16:19.0) and junior Alex Yahn (29th, 16:28.2) were the next to cross the finish line, both of whom moved up or held position over the last mile of the race. State newcomer sophomore Nathaniel Laursen (68th, 17:01.9) put in an incredible effort to close the back door for our team. Our sixth and seventh runners, junior Robert Fischer (100th, 17:22.3) and senior Oscar Ruiz (106th, 17:25.0) both pushed themselves to the brink for their teammates. The squad finished the race in dramatic fashion, with only a 7 point margin of victory over #2 ranked Kamiakin, a surprise that only the state meet can bring. This is the second state championship in boy’s program history, and the second straight state championship, a feat that hasn't been done in the 4A division since 2013-14 Gig Harbor. A win is a win, and our ultimate goal of being repeat state champions was accomplished!
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